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Putting the Server in Your Pocket

Posted by hiheiss on June 29, 2005 at 11:07 PM PDT

At the June 29, Wednesday morning Platinum session, held
from 8:30 to 9:15, Nokia Chief Technology Officer and Senior
Vice President Pertti Korhonen provided a vision of the future that
promises to take Sun's motto "The network is the computer" to
another level, by putting the server in your pocket.

Steve Meloan
does a really good job of covering the technical moves Nokia and
the industry are making to enable this here:

http://java.sun.com/javaone/sf/sessions/general/nokia_wednesday.j
sp

so that allows me to wax philosophical :) in this blog.

It's a
remarkable all-too-implicit vision of a world where extraordinary
access to information and communicative power are available
anytime, any place. Anyone can contact anyone and information
about anything is at your fingertips. That is where we are headed.
In another year or so mobile Java devices will be in the hands of a
billion people, absolutely awesome. The "power of Java
everywhere" is no hype; it's fast becoming real. There is no
question that in many domains of life, from medicine to meter
readers to industry to friendship and love, it's great. But I
remember Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air about a
disastrous climb of Mt Everest in which many people died. What
was almost unbearably poignant was the story of the leader of the
climb, an Australian who found himself stranded at the peak in a
severe blizzard at which he had the capacity to speak to his wife in
Australia by cell phone, but was unable to get down from the
summit before freezing to death. Technology could enable this
man to talk to his wife as he was dying but it could not overcome
the dubious risk-taking judgment that led to disaster.

It's tempting to make this story symbolic of something or other
- I don't really know what. Maybe something like the story of the
pilot of the plane who doesn't know where he is going but is proud
of the fact that he is breaking all speed records. It's all happening
so fast, and there is always the law of unintended, unforeseeable
consequences.

I found myself wanting Korhonen, and everyone else, to get
specific about how this technology can help us. The vision can't
just be technological, but one that looks more deeply into the
nuances of the implications for human life.

But perhaps that's what the theme of this conference is
hinting at with its emphasis on the word, share.